Friday, April 28, 2006

Something that greatly irritates me about our bodies is that often times are bodies are smarter than our brains.

Yesterday I finally went to the doctor to see about my ear. The weekend I left Portland--almost three weeks ago--my inner ear started hurting. As I was in the middle of moving, I didn't take the time to go to the doctor and get it seen about then. So hoping that it was just drainage in my ear, I started taking sinus medication and hoped for the best.

Well, it worked, sort of. My ear never got any worse, but it never got any better either. Since being in Lubbock I have put off going to the doctor mostly out of laziness and not wanting to figure out who here would actually take my insurance.

But yesterday, I finally caved, mostly because I didn't want to deal with the occasional sharp pain anymore. The diagnosis? Nothing is wrong with my ear. The pain is actually coming from the hinge of my jaw. Most likely the pain is a symptom of clinching or grinding my teeth at night, which is probably a symptom of stress.

I have to be honest that I didnt think that I was under that much stress. But here comes the part were the body is smarter than the mind. My body could feel the tension even though my brain wasn't registering it.

So thank you body, and thank you God for forcing me to recognize the stress so that I can begin destressing. But did you have to do it in such a painful way?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I heard from Barnes and Noble today...that I have another interview on Friday.

It looks like this is going to be a bit of a process. In the mean time, I'm keeping myself busy playing with my cute nephew and my sister. I'm planning to do a little traveling across Texas next week. Abilene, Dallas, and possibly Longview. If you are in any of those areas, I'd love to see ya'!

Thanks for all the prayers about the job!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

To update about the B&N interview:

The interview went very well. I got there and they asked the normal questions. Then the two mangers (store manager and the community relations manager) looked at each other and preceded to the second part of the interview.
In this second part, they told me that they would like to consider me for the community relations management position which will be opening up at the end of June. They told me all about the job and we talked a little more about details. Basically that means that I would be networking with nonprofits and schools to put on events and book fairs, building reading events for kids, bringing in authors for readings and signings, etc.

There are a few other candidates who are interviewing for the position. They are supposed to call me in 10 days in order to let me think through it and let them think of any other questions they might have.

Initially, I feel that it is a job that I would really enjoy, and am excited about the possibility. Please be praying over the decision process of both B&N and myself.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Initial Impressions of "the Springs"
Disclaimer: Please note that these are impressions based on 2 days wondering through the town and very little else.

I have been struck by the opposing forces of Colorado Springs.

Yesterday I felt the effects of culture shock. The conservative Christian values of the town can be clearly seen and heard; a great shock to the system after two years living in liberal Portland, OR. While driving around, I saw a truck with an explicit statement written on the tailgate, but I suppose out of reverence for conservative values, the owner had kindly edited his own statement with the following: "F*!#". I knew had I been in Portland the four letters of the word would be clearly displayed. Radio stations have bleeped words that I never would have thought of bleeping. During a local radio morning show, they even referred to sex as "baking" (not a Christian station).

Yet, walking around downtown this afternoon I saw many who clashed with the conservatism around them. I felt at home walking past skaters and thugs of all sorts. I felt a strong backlash against conservative Christiandom as we visited the shops of Manitou Springs--mysticism and witchcraft popping up everywhere. There is even an anti-war demonstration set-up near our hotel, reminding of similar scenes I have seen at Reed College and elsewhere in Portland.

I greatly enjoy downtown Colorado Springs. It has the feel of small town Colorado. Walking its streets, you quickly forget the sprawling urban setting you are in. Colorado Springs is a city of approximately 300,000. By 2010 it is expected to surpass Denver in population (Denver proper, not the complete metro area). But in downtown, you feel none of this.

Fuller Colorado is located in this area. This morning my father and I met with Lindy and got to see the "campus" or rather the suite of the office building it is located in. I liked it a lot and feel that I will do well in the small setting (class sizes ranging from 15-30).

On a completely other note, I ask for your prayers tomorrow morning. I have a job interview at the local Barnes and Noble. Considering when I turned my application in yesterday they told me that they weren't hiring, I was shocked to get a call from the manager today. He is even coming in on his day off to meet with me in the morning. This would be an excellent opportunity--full benefits, a job that I can leave at the job, close in proximity to the school and to where I will likely be living, a chance to work with people who won't look just like me in the aspects of school or church. Thanks for you prayers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today I write to you from my hotel room in Colorado Springs, CO.

Journey highlights:

Day 1:
  • Exceptionally fired up praise for my last Sunday morning at PUMP.
  • Tearful goodbyes from and to all my friends there.
  • A beautiful ride through the Columbia River Gorge as rain clouds, mist, and sun rolled through.
  • Brisket sandwiches for dinner, compliments of Karla Lowery.
  • Listening to The Magician's Nephew and the first half of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Day 2:
  • Extreme wind all the way through Wyoming.
  • Quick visit to Walmart in Rock Springs.
  • The second half of LWW and The Horse and His Boy.
  • Surprisingly "low" gas prices.
  • Arriving in Colorado Springs.

Day 3:
  • Breakfast with Ryan and Steve before they left for Arlington.
  • Unloading and getting rid of the U-haul trailer.
  • Driving around the Springs looking at apartments, etc.
  • Dinner at an old Train Depot.
More later....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Leaving Well

I was recently asked about my long absence from the blogging world (over 20 days since my last post). Why have I been so silent? I could blame it on a lack of time to post or busyness. But that would not be quite true. I could blame it on writer's block. But that would not be quite true either.

The truth is that my thoughts have been swirling so much that I hardly know what to write!

In six days time, I will clamor into my Blazer for the last time as a Portland resident--well, at least the last time in the foreseeable future. My thoughts on this are many, and I hardly know what to write to you all.

I don't think that the move hit home to me until this last weekend as I helped friends move into their new apartment. I suddenly realized that this would be me next weekend, but instead of moving a few blocks, I'm moving half-way across the country, again. I emphasize "again" because I am not exactly new to the cross-country move. After all, I moved from Abilene, Texas to Portland, Oregon less than two years ago. Plus the drives I took to Portland during my summers at ACU.

I remember well my last days in Abilene (and a little less well my last days in Lubbock prior to the ACU years). They were fast and furious, full of sentiment and excitement for the journey ahead. I remember a desire to "leave well," and at the time that meant forgoing sleep and my own sanity in order to pour into as many people as I could before leaving. I remember many amazing conversations with various friends and mentors. I remember a final trip to Longview to spend what I didn't know then would be my last moments with my grandfather. I remember saying goodbye to friends and family. Climbing in my Blazer and heading off into the wild blue yonder.

I left Abilene well. The Amanda I was then left Abilene very well. And I pray that the Amanda I am now will leave Portland equally well. I pray to go pouring out and pouring in. I pray to leave being poured into and accepting the love of so many around me. I pray to blaze forth into the new adventures that lay ahead of me in Colorado. I pray to leave not quite so exhausted, but saying what needs to be said and leaving unsaid what does not need to be said. I pray to fully enjoy the days of traveling with my father. I pray to leave without regret and to rejoice in all that God did in me and through me here. I pray to leave knowing that God goes before, with, and behind me. I pray to leave knowing my true identity--the child of the King, fully loved and fully know. I pray to leave as an apprentice of Jesus Christ.

Thank you to all of you who have walked with me on this journey in Portland. I look forward to many more times of rejoicing with you. Thank you to those who have supported me and prayed over my journey here. I look forward to your warm hugs and smiles and to sharing story after story with you. Thank you to my family who continue to support me in my radical escapades whatever state they might be in. Thank you to mentors who have walked with me in all parts of my journey here on earth. Thank you to friends who love me so unconditionally no matter how close they get to the ugly truth of my humanity. And thanks to the Lord, without whom I am nothing and through whom I can do everything.